Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

'Music keeps me going': Dancing Abu Dhabi cleaner Lucky Etinosa tells the story behind his viral moves

Exclusive: A video of Etinosa dancing as he tended to the streets of the capital went viral yesterday, but he says it's the way he always works

It was a steamy Saturday afternoon working on the streets of Abu Dhabi, but Lucky Etinosa was in good spirits. Such good spirits, in fact, that he was dancing along the road as he cleared the pavements of rubbish.

With a wheelie-bin in one hand and his rubbish-clamping tool in the other, Lucky Etinosa, 26, was filmed as he showed off his impeccable dance moves. And the internet loved it.

The video racked up hundreds of thousands of views across Instagram and Twitter after it was posted on July 28.

While he was at first surprised at his newfound fame, Etinosa is pleased with the buzz it has created. Mostly because, he says, it's simply the way he always works.

"I love my work. I work with happiness," he tells The National from his work site in Mussafah.

And that day, he had good reason to be happy. Etinosa arrived in the UAE about four months ago from Edo State in Nigeria, where he worked with computers. But his visa only came through this month.

"Getting to the UAE is not that easy and getting a job is not that easy. I just got my visa so I was very happy," he says. "I moved here to make a good living. I'm working for me and my family."

Etinosa was working in the Baniyas area on Saturday. His headphones were in, and he was jamming out to a song by Burna Boy, an Afro-fusion singer from his homeland.

Lucky has been delighting the internet with his dance moves. Reem Mohammed / The National
Lucky has delighted many people with his dancing. Reem Mohammed / The National

He didn't realise he was being filmed, but he's amused that someone thought it entertaining enough to pull out their phone. In fact, he didn't know about the buzz the video was generating until a stranger stopped him in the street two days ago. He believes he was probably dancing then, too.

"When I was working, someone drove to me and said ‘Hey, you’re becoming famous’. He showed me the video and asked if it was me, and I said 'yes that’s me'."

Etinosa's music of choice:

"When I saw the video I was surprised. It was amazing, people were saying you’re going to be famous."

Tamer Soliman, Lavajet's head of HR, said he'd found out about the video via a Whatsapp group he is in with his team. Lavajet employs 4,000 people in the UAE, and about 750 are from Africa.

Lucky, from Nigeria, has been delighting people after he appeared in a viral video. Reem Mohammed / The National
Lucky, from Nigeria, has been delighting people after he appeared in a viral video. Reem Mohammed / The National

Soliman said he thought it was a "good, positive" video, but would encourage Etinosa not to wear headphones while crossing the road in future, "just in case".

Etinosa is delighted at the reaction to the video, saying he was pleased about the positive comments and "never believed it would go viral".

He loves living in Abu Dhabi and intends to stay as long as he can. And music will play a part in his work for a long time yet. "I always listen to music to make the work lively. It helps me to work very well. It keeps me going."

Lucky with his colleagues. Reem Mohammed / The National
Lucky with his colleagues. Reem Mohammed / The National

Updated: July 30, 2019 07:31 PM

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